Following sanitary design best practices is key to avoiding food safety recalls

If your food is deemed unsafe, the cost of the aftermath isn’t cheap. Review these best practices regularly to keep your consumers safe.


If your food is deemed unsafe, the cost of the aftermath isn’t cheap. Review these best practices regularly to keep your consumers safe. Courtesy: Stellar

The food processing industry is experiencing a major uptick in sanitary design projects, and we have a hunch as to why. The implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has many food and beverage companies taking a deeper look at their processing practices, their plant designs and the equipment that goes inside their facilities. As food recalls litter the headlines and impact the health of consumers, food safety continues to be a crucial area of focus. A sound food safety program begins on the plant floor, and it all starts with following sanitary design best practices.

Food recalls in the headlines

Blue Bell Creamery and Kraft Foods have both experienced food recalls recently: Blue Bell for a listeria outbreak in its ice cream products and Kraft for the potential of metal within its mac & cheese packages.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Blue Bell’s tainted ice cream products resulted in five hospitalizations and three deaths. While Kraft’s potential metal scare thankfully hasn’t resulted in any consumer injuries, the voluntary recall has affected the company’s stock market shares, which dipped immediately following the recall.

This isn’t a rare result.

Recalls impact bottom line, long-term reputation

recent study by Utah State University showed meat and poultry recalls cause these companies’ stock prices to fall, too. Recalls affect more than the consumer, they affect your company’s bottom line.

If your food is deemed unsafe, the cost of the aftermath isn’t cheap. Your value falls. When your product is recalled, consumers migrate to a competitors’ version. They trust it more, and bring their dollars to someone else’s product—even if it may be more expensive.

Back to basics: sanitary design best practices

Back in 2013, we dedicated a blog post to sanitary design best practices, but just because time has passed, its importance hasn’t. Review the best practices regularly, ensuring you’re following them to not only steer clear of recalls, but to keep your consumers safe.

Joe Bove is the vice president of design at Stellar. This article originally appeared on Stellar's Food for Thought blog. Stellar is a CFE content partner. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media,

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